Are you a vegan, frantically searching for all the things you can still eat but need to give up? Are you wondering whether you can still enjoy a piece of nougat here and there?
Well, you’ll be pleased you stopped by.
I decided to research the ingredients of this chewy snack to find out once and for all.
Here is all you need to know.
Is Nougat Vegan?
Traditional nougat is not vegan, due to the presence of egg whites as a core ingredient. Some brands also use honey, dairy and gelatin too. However, there are vegan-friendly nougat options available on the market should you still want to consume this sweet, chewy treat.
Lets continue to explore these concerns, before turning to some of the best vegan friendly brands you can still enjoy!
What Is Nougat Made Of?
Traditional Nougat consists mainly of sugar, nuts and egg whites. But there are many other key ingredients included in nougat as well.
The basic recipe for nougat consists of sugar, nuts (typically almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios), and a binding agent such as egg whites or corn syrup.
Some variations also include dried fruit, chocolate, or other flavorings, such as honey, dairy and sometimes even gelatin.
The process of making nougat involves whipping the egg whites into a meringue, cooking the sugar to the right temperature, and then carefully combining these ingredients with the nuts.
The mixture is then poured into a mold, allowed to cool, and sliced into pieces.
Learn more: What Is Nougat Made Of?
Why Isn’t Nougat Vegan?
Traditional Nougat isn’t vegan-friendly as it contains animal-derived ingredients such as egg whites and honey. Some brands also use gelatin, refined sugar and dairy too; all of which can prevent this from being a vegan-friendly snack.
The primary reason why classic nougat is not vegan is due to its use of animal-derived ingredients.
There are three main components in a traditional nougat recipe: sugar, nuts, and an egg-white binder.
The egg whites, sourced from chickens, are the obvious culprit here.
They act as a crucial binding agent to give nougat its trademark chewy texture.
Additionally, some nougat varieties also include honey, which is produced by bees and not considered vegan by many people.
These two ingredients, egg whites and honey, prevent traditional nougat from being suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle.
In addition to the use of egg whites and honey, some nougat recipes may also include non-vegan ingredients, making them unsuitable for those following a vegan lifestyle.
Here are a few more reasons why some nougat varieties may not be vegan:
- Gelatin: Derived from animal collagen, gelatin is sometimes used in nougat recipes as a thickening or gelling agent to achieve the desired chewy texture. Since it’s obtained from animal sources like bovine or porcine skin, bones, and connective tissues, gelatin is not considered vegan.
- Dairy-Based Ingredients: Some nougat recipes, especially those that include chocolate or caramel, may contain dairy-based ingredients such as milk powder, butter, or cream. These ingredients are derived from cow’s milk and are therefore not suitable for vegans.
- Refined Sugar: While sugar itself is a plant-derived ingredient, the refining process of cane sugar often involves bone char, which is made from the ash of animal bones. Some vegans may choose to avoid products containing refined sugar for this reason. While not all nougat recipes use refined sugar, it’s essential to be aware of this potential issue when looking for vegan-friendly alternatives.
- Natural Flavors and Colors: Some nougat varieties may include artificial or natural flavors and colors derived from animal sources. For example, carmine, a red food coloring obtained from crushed cochineal insects, is sometimes used in confections. Vegans should be cautious and check the ingredient list for any non-vegan additives.
Can Nougat Ever Be Vegan?
Nougat can be vegan as the animal derived ingredients that make up this candy can be replaced by vegan-friendly alternatives. Some brands have done this.
Despite the presence of animal-derived ingredients in traditional nougat, it is entirely possible to create vegan nougat that tastes just as good as its non-vegan counterpart.
Replacing the egg whites with a plant-based alternative, such as aquafaba, is the key to achieving that signature chewy texture.
Aquafaba, the liquid left over from cooking chickpeas, has been gaining popularity as an egg-white substitute due to its similar properties when whipped into a foam.
Additionally, instead of using honey, a vegan sweetener such as agave syrup, maple syrup, or a sugar syrup can be used.
With these simple ingredient swaps, you can create a delicious, vegan-friendly nougat that even your non-vegan friends will enjoy!
Of course, aquafaba is just one of the many ways to create vegan nougat.
In the world of plant-based alternatives, there’s always room for innovation and creativity.
Here are a few more techniques and ingredients you can use to make your own vegan nougat:
- Vegan Gelatin: Vegan gelatin, made from plant-derived sources like agar-agar or carrageenan, can be used to provide the chewy, elastic texture typically found in nougat. These alternatives can easily be incorporated into a vegan nougat recipe without compromising taste or texture.
- Soy Protein: Some vegan nougat recipes use soy protein isolate, a high-protein, low-fat powder made from defatted soybeans, as a binding agent. When mixed with water, soy protein isolate forms a viscous, egg-white-like liquid that helps achieve a similar consistency to traditional nougat.
- Flaxseed or Chia Seed Gel: Another option for creating vegan nougat is using flaxseed or chia seed gel as a binder. When mixed with water, these seeds form a gel-like consistency that can mimic the properties of egg whites. They can be easily incorporated into a vegan nougat recipe and provide a rich, nutty flavor that compliments the other ingredients.
- Experiment with Nut Butters: Nut butters such as almond, cashew, or hazelnut can be used as the base for vegan nougat recipes, offering a rich and creamy texture. By combining nut butters with sweeteners and other plant-based binders, you can create a delicious, vegan-friendly nougat with a unique flavor profile.
With so many alternatives and methods available, creating vegan nougat has never been easier or more exciting.
By experimenting with different plant-based ingredients, you can develop your own unique vegan nougat recipe and enjoy this classic treat without any animal-derived ingredients.
Best Vegan Nougat Brands
There are plenty of vegan nougat brands out there including Vantastic Foods Vegan Nougat, Vego Nougat Pralines, and many more.
If making your own vegan nougat seems like a daunting task, fear not, for there are several vegan nougat brands on the market that you can enjoy without any guilt!
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Vantastic Foods Vegan Nougat: This German-based company offers a selection of vegan nougat bars made with rice syrup and hazelnut paste. They come in various flavors, such as almond, cherry, and chocolate, providing a deliciously indulgent treat for those following a plant-based diet.
- Vego Nougat Pralines: Vego is known for their incredibly popular vegan chocolate hazelnut spread and chocolate bars. They also offer a vegan nougat praline that combines the creamy goodness of hazelnut paste with the sweet and nutty flavors of nougat. These pralines are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth while staying cruelty-free.
- Jeavon’s Toffee Nougat: This UK-based vegan confectionery brand offers a scrumptious vegan toffee nougat bar made with coconut milk, almonds, and a generous coating of vegan chocolate. The combination of smooth toffee and chewy nougat creates a mouthwatering experience for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Now that you have a list of vegan nougat brands to try, there’s no need to miss out on this delightful confection.
With so many delicious options available, even your non-vegan friends will be eager to give these cruelty-free alternatives a try.
While traditional nougat is not vegan, there are plenty of alternatives available for those following a plant-based lifestyle.
Whether you choose to make your own vegan nougat using aquafaba and a vegan sweetener or prefer to indulge in one of the many vegan nougat brands available, you can enjoy this classic treat without any guilt.
Hello, I’m Matthew, a candy expert and enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the candy industry. My passion for candy started at a very young age. Since then, I have worked in numerous, large candy stores, and have been fortunate enough to try out hundreds of brands of candies, different types and flavors. In addition to my work, I enjoy sharing my extensive knowledge with others, and decided to create Sugar Stand in order to do so. My mission is to make the world a sweeter place, one candy at a time.